The Author

Lily Left by Plane2012 was the year that kickstarted the travelmania. I got to be someplace alone and I liked it. The following year, I tried going to a country where I don’t know the language. It was scary, but I survived, and I loved it. From then on, I preferred traveling on my own because it’s less stressful and I can do what I want, when I want it. It also pushes me to get out of my introvert shell and do things I normally won’t do (like willingly talk to strangers). I’ve met friends that way.

I found that it’s better to not be on packaged tours (unless necessary, i.e. no convenient way to commute to a place) in order to really know and explore a place, and be able to write how-to guides. It’s also the reason why I like going by myself. I tend to zone out and just “follow the leader” when I’m with people who know the place, so if you ask me how to get somewhere, I’d have no idea. Although it’s also helpful to get lost sometimes, because that’s when I discover hidden gems off the beaten path.

Like many, I dream of traveling the whole world. But I don’t have unlimited money nor time. I’m not a professional traveller – I do have a job – so I can’t go on extended trips with just a giant backpack. For me, travel is an escape from the monotony, hence my blog’s name. I’ve always liked foreign languages, and this made me curious about the cultures behind them. One day, I’ll learn those languages, visit the places, and talk to the locals. It’d be fantastic.

Why this blog?

There are a lot of travel blogs out there that are more informative and better written than this… But here in my blog, I won’t only tell you where to go and how to get there, I’d also ASK you for tips! That’s right! I, after all, am just a person trying to explore the world. I don’t know everything, and sometimes there are better ways to do things than how I did it, so you’re welcome to suggest those to me.

This blog will, of course, contain the usual info you normally see in other travel blogs, like “how to’s” and “top 5 or 10s”. But you’ll also see posts of me panicking when I’m last-minute packing, or getting frustrated while planning an itinerary (this is when I’ll have loads of questions, and I’d love to hear your input :)).

Lastly, the dawn of cheaper air travel and accommodation gave so many more the ability to go places. Still, the budget is tight, which is why many travel blogs focus on going around as cheaply as possible, sometimes sacrificing time and comfort. Yes, I have done that, and I do do that (hello sleeping in airports)! But my other goal here is to balance out the scrimping and splurging. Money is something we can earn, but time is absolutely limited.

This is why in this blog, you’ll see me going back and forth from being a real penny pincher (i.e. existing on cup noodles) to  just letting people take my money (i.e. riding taxis and booking suites). It all depends on what I think is worth spending on to maximize my trip.

The US$1000 Budget Challenge

This is the budget I set for myself for every trip. It’s an all-in budget, which means it includes airfare, taxes, accommodation, transportation, food, and shopping/entertainment/etc. It converts to roughly Php45,000. This may seem like a lot for some places, and not enough when going to others. I do adjust this budget accordingly, but it’s my rough guide to know whether I’ve spent too much.

And yes, I do find myself going over-budget often. D: But by just a hundred or two. 🙂

I will post the actual spending breakdowns of some of my trips to give you an idea of how much to budget, and inspire you to track trip spending on your own! 🙂 We’ll always need money for the next trip!